Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 13063

1 Friday, 22 June 2007

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, everybody. Madam Registrar, could you

6 call the case, please.

7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number

8 IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, ma'am.

10 All the accused are here. From the Defence teams I only notice

11 the absence of Mr. Meek, who I suppose has spent a sleepless night

12 pondering on my -- and is now taking a well-earned rest. Yes,

13 Mr. Ostojic?

14 MR. OSTOJIC: Morning, Mr. President, Your Honours. Mr. Meek will

15 not be with us today and at the beginning of next week. He's expected to

16 arrive on Thursday next week.

17 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. I must have complicated his

18 mind. It needs a rest.

19 Mr. McCloskey and Mr. Nicholls for the Prosecution. I can't see

20 anyone else behind the column.

21 All right. I understand there is a preliminary, Mr. Bourgon?

22 MR. BOURGON: Good morning, Mr. President. It's a very short

23 matter I wish to raise before the witness begins, and I continue with my

24 cross-examination.

25 This is an issue that arose over the weekend when I spoke with the

Page 13064

1 Prosecution and I asked them a question arising from the second interview

2 which was provided by the witness on 17th of March 2002.

3 On that occasion, the witness provided a lot of new information

4 that was not provided before, and this happened or was triggered by a

5 question which was put to him and the following question is the -- this

6 one. It says that: "Further to that, we learned that a request had been

7 made to your battalion to provide people to participate in this execution.

8 Can you tell me about that?"

9 And then at that moment, the witness started to speak and to

10 provide new information. The question I posed to my friends from the

11 Prosecution was where did they get that information in order to help us do

12 our own investigation? So far I have not been able to -- my colleague has

13 not replied to this query. They told me that they are looking for the

14 information as to where -- who provided this information to the

15 Prosecution so that they could put this question to the witness. But so

16 far, I haven't got any answer. And I'll pursue my cross-examination but I

17 thought it was important to inform the Trial Chamber that that's a piece

18 of information that was missing when preparing for this witness. Thank

19 you, Mr. President.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. I don't know if you wish to comment.

21 Mr. McCloskey?

22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. We do endeavour, when we get

23 the occasional question like this, to see if we can answer it simply. I

24 was able to answer a similar question and provide an ancient secret source

25 document for the counsel to find out which rumour led to another rumour

Page 13065

1 which led to a question. This one, we are looking for to help him out and

2 we'll continue to look. I don't think the law obligates us to do this but

3 there is no problem us looking and we'll continue to look. The problem is

4 the -- Mr. Bursik's been asked and doesn't recall but we'll continue to

5 look to see if we can sort it out.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Let's bring the witness -- I suppose

7 there are no further matters to be raised? Okay. How much time do you

8 think you will require, Mr. Bourgon? You gave us an indication yesterday

9 but I don't know whether you've --

10 MR. BOURGON: I do have quite a substantial amount of questions

11 and I will try to do my best to finish in two hours.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: I've just asked you, not curtail your time, but to

13 be able to plan the rest of the day.

14 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.

15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. And Mr. Ostojic?

16 MR. OSTOJIC: Mr. President, at this point we have probably less

17 than a half hour, if any at all, but we are still waiting to see.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.

19 [The witness entered court]

20 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. --

21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Your Honours, I would like also to ask the Chamber

22 to put to the witness some additional questions regarding yesterday

23 disclosed documents from the Prosecution. This is a vehicle work log,

24 just -- I need not more than ten minutes for it.

25 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. We'll consider that later on. Thank you.

Page 13066

1 Yes, good morning to you, Mr. Acimovic. Welcome back.

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: I am very confident that we will finish today.

4 But please try to keep your answers short as possible, provided

5 they are pertinent to the question, they answer the question, the whole

6 question and nothing but the question. Because otherwise you will be here

7 again next week.

8 Yes, Mr. Bourgon?

9 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.


11 [Witness answered through interpreter]

12 Cross-examination by Mr. Bourgon: [Continued]

13 Q. Good morning, Mr. Acimovic.

14 A. Good morning.

15 Q. Before I begin with my questions that I had planned to ask you

16 today, I have a couple of clarifications from testimony you gave either

17 yesterday or the day before. Firstly I'd like you to confirm that you

18 would agree with me that you are able to recognise or that you were able

19 to recognise the voice of Drago Nikolic. Is that a fair statement?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And yesterday, I asked you a question concerning the position of

22 Drago Nikolic, and I suggested to you that he was the assistant commander

23 for security and not the assistant commander for intelligence and

24 security. You -- your response was that you weren't aware of that. Now,

25 I'd just like to recall that in your first statement, the first interview,

Page 13067

1 and that was on page 4, and also in English and in B/C/S, you stated that

2 Drago was only chief of security. Do you recall saying that in your first

3 interview?

4 A. Probably said it.

5 Q. Now, a quick clarification also, something you mentioned in your

6 testimony on the 20th of June, so that's two days ago, you mentioned, and

7 that was on the transcript page 23, lines 16 to 17 of that transcript, you

8 mentioned that Trbic was a reserve lieutenant. Now, I suggest to you that

9 in fact Trbic was not a reserve lieutenant but that he was a captain. Are

10 you aware of this?

11 A. I don't remember when he was promoted, when he became captain.

12 Q. Thank you. Now, you also mentioned concerning Trbic that he was a

13 foot soldier in your battalion. Would I be correct in saying that in

14 fact, just before leaving or just before being reassigned to the brigade

15 command, he was your deputy commander? Is that correct?

16 A. Yes, but let me clarify, if I may. When I first met Trbic, it was

17 while I was still the company commander. He was a foot soldier then.

18 When I was appointed pursuant to an order of the brigade commander, the

19 commander of the 3rd Infantry Battalion, and since I had known Trbic from

20 before, in agreement with the brigade commander, I appointed Trbic my

21 deputy. This was in 1992, I think. In November 1992.

22 Q. Thank you for this information and clarification. So would I be

23 right in saying that he was your -- or maybe I should put it this way:

24 How long was he your deputy commander, approximately?

25 A. I can't give you a precise answer, but I would say that maybe a

Page 13068

1 year and a half.

2 Q. Thank you. And would I be right in saying that, of course,

3 because he was a your deputy commander and that you even knew him before

4 that, that you were quite close to Trbic? Would that be a fair statement?

5 A. In any case, we knew each other well.

6 Q. I'll move on, Mr. Acimovic, to my first area of questions for

7 today. And the first thing I'd like to do is simply confirm the sequence

8 of events as you described them and then we'll go into each of those

9 events one by one. But the first thing that took place, I'm talking just

10 in general terms, is when you went to the school with the priest and the

11 president of the local community. Would that be correct?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And after spending some time at the school, you were on your way

14 back to your battalion command when you stopped in Kozluk to make a phone

15 call; is that correct?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Following which, according to your testimony, you returned to the

18 school and you spoke to both the priest and the president of the local

19 community?

20 A. I didn't say I had spoken to the priest. I'm not sure about that.

21 But I did speak to the president of the local commune.

22 Q. And the next thing that took place is you returned to your --

23 after speaking to the president of the local community, you returned to

24 battalion command from where you made another phone call to the brigade;

25 is that correct?

Page 13069

1 A. Yes, that's correct.

2 Q. And in the sequence of events, then came the first telegram and

3 the first response which you sent back?

4 A. Could you please put your question in a more precise way? Because

5 I'm not sure that I have understood you correctly.

6 Q. Will do, Mr. Acimovic.

7 When you are in -- back at the battalion command, the next event

8 which took place that really -- that you testified about is when you say

9 that you -- that the battalion received a telegram from the brigade and

10 that you forwarded a response back to the brigade. So that's the next

11 major event.

12 A. Yes, after midnight.

13 Q. And following which there was a second telegram and a second

14 response; would you agree with that?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And at some point, because I don't want to be too precise, we'll

17 get to the precise details in a minute, but at some point in this telegram

18 business, you consulted with the company commanders?

19 A. I could get in touch with company commanders. I was able to do

20 that.

21 Q. Okay. And then the next major event is phone calls that you say

22 were made to you by Drago Nikolic. That would be the next major event?

23 A. I apologise. Let me just clarify my previous answer, please. I

24 said before that I had been in touch with company commanders or their

25 deputies. I know that I spoke to the commander of the 1st Company and as

Page 13070

1 for the 2nd and the 3rd Companies, I don't know whether I spoke to the

2 commanders or their deputies. I'm not sure of that.

3 Q. Thank you for that clarification. It is indeed important. But

4 the purpose of my question was there was some consultation at that point

5 with the companies. Would that be a fair statement?

6 A. No consultations took place. The company commanders were informed

7 about the telegram that we had received. I asked my company commanders

8 whether they were familiar with the telegram, and I suppose that they

9 answered affirmatively, and as I have already stated in my previous

10 statements, I informed them about our reply to these telegrams, and I also

11 informed them on that occasion that if anybody should check, that they

12 should say that they were familiar with the content of the telegram.

13 Q. Thank you. We'll get to the details of what happened with the

14 company commanders or their deputies, as you mentioned. I was just trying

15 to set up the sequence of events. And the next thing that happened was

16 the alleged conversation with Drago Nikolic, and then you went after that

17 in the morning you went to Rocevic where you met with Popovic. Is that in

18 the sequence of events what happened according to your testimony?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And then there was several days later a meeting for battalion

21 commanders at brigade command. That would be the next event you testified

22 about, both in examination-in-chief and when you answered questions from

23 my colleague Mr. Zivanovic.

24 A. Whether that was a few days later, I don't know. I can't be sure

25 of that. But I suppose that some time did pass after all of these events

Page 13071

1 that I've -- that we've been talking about.

2 Q. Thank you. Just a quick clarification before I move on to my next

3 topic. And that is concerning the priest. I take it from your testimony

4 that when you initially went to the school, you met the priest and the

5 president of the local community, we know that, but I'd like to know, is

6 it your -- what is your testimony in terms of how long did the priest stay

7 there with you? Was he there during the consultation process when you

8 tried to get access to the school?

9 A. I really can't say. I can't remember.

10 Q. Now, we were given some information by the Prosecution. They

11 managed I guess to meet this priest and according to the information we

12 have, he said that he stayed five minutes and went back to his church.

13 Does that sound familiar to you?

14 A. Quite possible.

15 Q. So I take it, then, that when -- if he only stayed five minutes

16 that means that when you approach those unknown and uncontrolled soldiers

17 who were guarding the school, the priest was not witness of these events;

18 is that correct?

19 A. Quite possible.

20 Q. I'll move on to my next topic which is simply I'd like to cover

21 with you some information I think is necessary regarding the communication

22 which your battalion had, both to the companies and to the brigade. So

23 let's begin with between the battalion and the brigade command. Would you

24 agree with me that there was a line -- a land line, meaning telephone

25 hooked from wire -- by wire from telephone to telephone?

Page 13072

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And that's a military telephone where you basically have to turn

3 the telephone and then you get the person at the other end? And would you

4 agree with me that this is --

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. -- that this is a secure line, meaning that conversations on such

7 a telephone cannot be intercepted unless you plug yourself in the wire?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And both at the brigade command and at the company command -- and

10 at the battalion command, sorry, there is a switchboard. You are aware of

11 that?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. So if you called to the brigade, you will first get the

14 switchboard and the switchboard will connect you to any office in the

15 brigade command?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Now, if I move to communications between the battalion command and

18 your own companies, there is also a land line, wire from phone to phone,

19 so basically there is a secure telephone connection between the battalion

20 command and all of your companies?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. So these conversations cannot be intercepted, once again, unless

23 someone plugs right into the wire?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And as mentioned, there was, in your battalion, a switchboard, and

Page 13073

1 that was a TLC 10. Familiar with that, Mr. Acimovic?

2 A. No.

3 Q. But you're familiar with the fact that there was a switchboard and

4 that the switchboard was located in the communication section, 40 metres

5 away from the battalion command, is that the case?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. So anyone who wants to have access to the battalion must first

8 ring the switchboard and then is connected either to a company or to the

9 battalion command; is that correct?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Now, as for communications between the battalion and the brigade

12 forward command post, the IKM, would I be correct in saying that you did

13 not have a direct line to the IKM, that you must first call brigade

14 command who would then connect you to the brigade IKM?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And the line which exists between the brigade command and the

17 brigade forward command post or IKM is also a military secure line, a wire

18 between two phones?

19 A. I suppose so.

20 Q. And would I be right in saying that in addition to this military

21 phone, there was also a radio network on which there was a number of

22 stations which would link the brigade command and all the battalions as

23 well as the brigade IKM?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And if the commander of the brigade or the Chief of Staff goes

Page 13074

1 away for -- from the brigade command while remaining in the brigade area,

2 it would be the norm or the normal procedure for the Chief of Staff to

3 bring along a radio?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And the Chief of Staff would also carry along or not carry along

6 but usually will be accompanied by a radio operator who would be with the

7 Chief of Staff at all times or very close to him?

8 A. Probably.

9 Q. Now, my question is not whether it did take place but that's the

10 procedure that should take place; is that correct?

11 A. In any case, yes.

12 Q. Now, of course, this radio network which would link the brigade

13 command to the brigade battalions, the radio network, that's -- those

14 conversations can be intercepted if you have a radio device and you can

15 switch on to the right frequency; is that correct?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Unless, of course, you use the device which is the RUP 12, I

18 believe, which would code the communication?

19 A. I'm not competent to answer your question. I don't know enough to

20 be able to talk about the communication system, if we are talking about

21 that.

22 Q. Okay. Then I'll move on in my questions and simply to add that

23 some battalion commanders had also a Motorola radio?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Did you yourself have a Motorola radio?

Page 13075

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And the Motorola radio, can you get from this radio -- can you get

3 on the brigade network?

4 A. Well, you see, I never had occasion to speak on the Motorola radio

5 with the commander or the Chief of Staff, because we always had more

6 secure communications, the telephones that we discussed earlier. So it

7 was not necessary to talk on the Motorola. And since the units concerned

8 were static, they were infantry battalions, including mine, that were

9 linked to their own area of defence.

10 Q. So you yourself I take it, then, made very little use of your

11 Motorola, if any?

12 A. We probably used it, but very little.

13 Q. And I take it that in addition to the military secure line and the

14 radio network, there were in some places civilian phones; is that correct?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And the civilian phones is what you call an open line or an

17 unsecure line?

18 A. I said already that I'm not competent to discuss communications.

19 Q. Then my question would be -- I'll move on. Thank you,

20 Mr. Acimovic. I have enough for in terms of what I wanted to know to

21 clarify concerning communications and I move to my next topic, which deals

22 with the procedure within the battalion command. And my first question

23 is: There would always be an operative duty officer at the battalion

24 command?

25 A. Yes.

Page 13076

1 Q. And the operative duty officer is the one who receives and sends

2 all information on behalf of the battalion; is that correct?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And the duty officer has an operational logbook in which he writes

5 all important information that takes place during his shift?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. So, for example, if you have -- as the battalion commander, are

8 away from your battalion, and someone calls and tries to get ahold of you,

9 the duty officer would write this in the book and say, "Mr. X tried to

10 call the commander at such a time"? Would that be a normal procedure?

11 A. Well, I don't believe the duty officer kept that kind of record.

12 Q. So what kind of record did he keep? What did you insist that your

13 duty officer keep as record?

14 A. The duty officer at the battalion command usually received

15 telegrams and he was the communication link with the brigade.

16 Q. Now, we'll get to telegrams later but what if it's not a telegram?

17 What if it's simply someone who wants to speak to the commander of the

18 battalion and you're not there? Where will the duty officer note down the

19 message? In the operational duty book or just on a piece of paper that he

20 will give you when you come back?

21 A. I really don't know. I don't know whether that's the kind of

22 message he would note down or he would just tell me, pass it on to me,

23 relying on his memory, or he would perhaps call me by some means of

24 communication, telling me that somebody was trying to get in touch.

25 Q. Thank you. Now, if I try to make a comparison between the

Page 13077

1 battalion command duty officer and the brigade command duty officer, would

2 I be right in saying that they have somehow the same duties at different

3 levels, of course?

4 A. I told you a moment ago, all my assistants were soldiers, so that

5 every shift on duty anybody did, boiled down to receiving information,

6 passing it on to me and things like that.

7 Q. Maybe you didn't understand my question correctly. I'm just

8 looking now at the brigade command duty officer. Would I be right in

9 saying that he would also be the link, he's the one who is the

10 communications link, passing the information to all the battalions? Is

11 that correct?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And the brigade duty officer, you know because either you saw it

14 or you know it from experience, that he also has a duty officer logbook?

15 A. I don't know. I'm not sure there is a logbook.

16 Q. So you never saw it yourself, the logbook?

17 A. I don't remember.

18 Q. Now, we've heard quite a bit of testimony in this case concerning

19 the fact that if there was communication addressed to the brigade duty

20 officer, he did have a book and he did write this down. Would that be a

21 normal procedure, according to you?

22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls?

23 MR. NICHOLLS: No objection. Sorry to interrupt. It's just about

24 the terminology. Earlier my friend was referring to a logbook and now

25 it's a book and I think we are all talking about the notebook but I just

Page 13078

1 want to make that -- we have been trying to work out the terminology

2 exactly but I think just for the record that's what we are talking about.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: I understood that. Do you agree, Mr. Bourgon?

4 MR. BOURGON: I would agree with the Prosecution, like I always

5 do, Mr. President.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead and try to speed up this part, if you can.

7 I think it's been overlaboured.

8 MR. BOURGON: Will do.

9 Q. Just Mr. Acimovic, the -- if at the battalion command a telegram

10 was received, and you referred to that earlier, it would be noted in the

11 notebook; is that correct?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Now, some information has been provided to us by the Prosecution

14 concerning the person you say was on duty that night, Mitar Lazarevic, and

15 in the information we received, it says that there was a separate logbook

16 for telegrams that was beside the phone and that telegrams were

17 immediately registered. Is that correct?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Thank you. I move on to another section of the cross-examination.

20 Yesterday, in response to a question by my colleague Mr. Zivanovic, you

21 confirmed that you met the Prosecution three times before coming to

22 The Hague for your testimony. That was on page 24, lines 22 to 25. Is

23 that correct?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And at page 25, lines 17 to 20 you also confirm that whenever you

Page 13079

1 remembered something new, then in your subsequent statement you would add

2 this to the previous statement; is that correct?

3 A. Through my interviews with the Prosecution, I kept recalling

4 certain things as we went along.

5 Q. Now, I'd like to confirm with you that during your first

6 interview, there are issues that you did not mention to the Prosecution.

7 The first such issue was the first telegram you received asking you to

8 provide a platoon to participate in executions. In the first interview

9 you did not mention that.

10 A. I said that on that occasion I had not been asked such questions.

11 I had not been asked things like that during the first interview, and I

12 did not recall them then. At that time, I was trying to answer the

13 questions that I was asked, and since the events in question took place a

14 long time ago, I hope you will agree with me that seven years on, one

15 cannot recall every detail. Do you perhaps agree with me? Did it ever

16 happen to you that you were going shopping for three things and arriving

17 at the shop you no longer had any idea of what they were? Now, imagine

18 events of a different kind and a time interval of seven years.

19 Q. Even though I should be the one asking the questions I'll answer

20 to yours and I agree with you.

21 Now, let's just go to what was not mentioned in your first

22 interview and then we can try and address why it was not mentioned. But

23 right now, I think it is important for the Trial Chamber to know exactly

24 what was not in your first interview. So if you can please just answer by

25 yes or no, if you want to elaborate I will never stop you but I think we

Page 13080

1 can move quicker if we just keep to yes or no.

2 The second telegram asking you to provide a platoon to participate

3 in executions, that was not mentioned in the first interview.

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. The phone calls that you say you received from Drago Nikolic that

6 night and at 7.00 in the morning, that was not mentioned either?

7 A. Nothing was mentioned concerning the telegrams, nothing that fell

8 under that context.

9 Q. So going to the school the following morning and having a meeting

10 with the accused Popovic in Rocevic, that was also not mentioned?

11 A. I don't remember.

12 Q. Well, I can show you your statement but I'm telling you that it's

13 not in the first interview but I don't want -- if you don't agree we can

14 look at the interview if you want but do you agree that it's not there?

15 A. If you say it's not there, I suppose it's not. But I really can't

16 recall.

17 Q. Okay. Well, then we'll have to look at the interview because it's

18 not my word that counts. It's yours. So unless -- if I may have on

19 e-court -- and I think to make it easier, Mr. President, I can give a copy

20 to the witness in his language, a paper copy. He can just flip through

21 it. It's going to go quicker and save time.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. It has -- you need to show it first to

23 Mr. Nicholls to -- not that I don't trust you but it's for formality's

24 sake and do you agree with that -- with this procedure, Mr. Nicholls?

25 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes. And I don't need to see it. I'm sure it's

Page 13081

1 fine.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Do you agree with the proposition that

3 Mr. Bourgon is putting to the witness in any case, Mr. Nicholls? Because

4 if you do, there is no need.

5 MR. BOURGON: There is no need absolutely if my colleague

6 stipulates it's not there.

7 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour, I don't want to interfere with

8 his cross but I think the witness has already basically answered when he

9 said that he didn't discuss the telegrams or the phone calls in the first

10 interview and that topic.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Fine.

12 MR. BOURGON: Well, if my colleague says that he agrees that those

13 events are not there because I think I it's important to get precise

14 information. He did not say that he went to the school that day, he did

15 not say that he met the accused Popovic that day. I think it's important

16 to be precise about those details.

17 JUDGE AGIUS: If you are prepared to stipulate that, we can move

18 much faster.

19 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you, so we can proceed. You can

21 proceed.

22 MR. BOURGON: Thank you. And I appreciate the assistance of my

23 colleague.

24 Q. Now, Mr. Acimovic, I take it you had the time but we solved the

25 matter now and those events are not mentioned in your first interview.

Page 13082

1 Now, you mentioned earlier, when I asked you, you said that you did not

2 remember these things or that you were not asked. I would just like to

3 refer to you, if you can -- maybe if the witness can keep it and I'll

4 refer him to some questions he was asked on that occasion, I'd like you to

5 look on page 30, Mr. Acimovic, and that's 3D153, and if we can call this

6 up on e-court. In English, the reference is page 31, lines 20 to 25.

7 Now, all I want to refer to you is the three questions that were

8 posed to you during that interview. The first one on page 30 was: Do you

9 know anything about the execution of prisoners in the zone of

10 responsibility of the Zvornik Brigade? Do you see this question in your

11 language on page 30, Mr. Acimovic?

12 A. Just a minute.

13 Q. Did you find it?

14 A. No.

15 Q. I don't have the exact line unfortunately. In English, it's 23 to

16 25 but in your language, it's line 18. If you look at line 18 you will

17 find this question -- 14? Just where it says, "Do you know anything about

18 the execution of prisoners in the zone of responsibility of the

19 Zvornik Brigade?" Do you see that?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. If you can move, Mr. Acimovic, to page 23? In English, page 24,

22 lines 23 to 25. Do you see the question, Mr. Acimovic, "Did you ever

23 found out what happened to these people?"

24 A. Which number?

25 Q. Page 23, and line is close to 21, 22, 23. Question is, "Did you

Page 13083

1 ever found out what happened to these people?" Page 23. Did you find it?

2 A. Just a minute.

3 Q. Line 22.

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Now, if you can move now, Mr. Acimovic, to page 28? In English

6 the reference is page 19, lines 19 to 25. Now, the question you were

7 asked then was, "Did you get any feedback from either your brigade

8 commander or Popovic about what happened to those people?"

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Now, if I look at these three questions, and I compare this to

11 your answer that -- or I simply suggest to you that you really did not

12 remember anything about those telegrams and those phone -- and those

13 telephone conversations because with those questions, you would have

14 remembered, right?

15 A. I cannot recall what exactly I remembered at that moment, how much

16 I remembered.

17 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Bourgon, if you could give me the English page

18 number again of the last part? Is it --

19 MR. BOURGON: What I have in my notes here is page 19, lines 19 to

20 25 but it would seem strange because the 28 in B/C/S so maybe I have--

21 it's 29, sorry. Maybe that's the problem. Page 29, lines 19 to 25.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: That explains because I was trying to follow on page

23 19 and I couldn't.

24 MR. BOURGON: I apologise. It's page 29, lines 19 to 25.

25 Q. Now, Mr. Acimovic, when you were cross-examined by my colleague,

Page 13084

1 you stated something, and that was on page 31, talking about yesterday,

2 lines 15 to 25. So I'll just read your answer that you provided then and

3 then I'll ask you a question: "My first statement that I provided in

4 Banja Luka was accessible to many people in Zvornik. I did not consider

5 that to be right."

6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls, one moment, Mr. Bourgon.

7 MR. NICHOLLS: Could we go into private session?

8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's go into private session.

9 [Private session]

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 13085

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 [Open session]

Page 13086

1 JUDGE AGIUS: Incidentally, I forgot to mention in the beginning

2 of the sitting but I am saying it now, with retroactive effect, that we

3 are sitting pursuant to Rule 15 bis today due to Judge Stole being unable

4 to be with us. Thank you.

5 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.

6 Q. Mr. Acimovic, I move now to your second interview, and during that

7 second interview, and I think to make that easier I can give you a paper

8 copy also, if my colleague agrees, and I can refer to you some lines that

9 you can see for yourself, that you read I believe, with the Prosecution on

10 Sunday, so it won't be any surprise to you. And for the sake of e-court,

11 this is 3D154. And if we can call the English copy on e-court and I refer

12 you, Mr. Acimovic, to page 7. Now, I just put to you this question -- not

13 put to you, I just ask you to look at this question where it

14 says, "Further to that, we learned that a request had been made to your

15 battalion to provide people to participate in this execution. Can you

16 tell me about that?"

17 Immediately after being asked this question, you provided

18 information concerning the-- what you referred to as the telegrams and the

19 telephone conversations. Now, I suggest to you, Mr. Acimovic, that if you

20 had not been asked this question, you would not have mentioned this

21 information. Do you agree with this?

22 A. As you can see from this question -- just a minute. As you can

23 see from the way the question was worded, it gave me a basis for recalling

24 certain events. It helped me remember them. You can see that for

25 yourself.

Page 13087

1 Q. And that was exactly my point. I just wanted to know whether you

2 had decided before the interview to provide this information or you

3 suddenly remembered when this question was put to you. Which of the two

4 is it?

5 A. I really can't remember. I think that I remembered at that moment

6 because of the question.

7 Q. Now, if I look at your third interview -- so we can do away with

8 this -- with the second one for now, do you recall that in your third

9 interview your status was changed to that of a suspect?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And do you recall that after your status had been changed to that

12 of a suspect, you provided a lot of information concerning Obrenovic which

13 you appear to have refused to provide before you were made into a suspect?

14 A. I don't see what I have disclosed to Obrenovic. I just said that

15 I thought he must have known. That's why I thought and said that he was

16 aware of that, but I also said that I couldn't be sure. I just suppose

17 that if he was in the area of defence of the Zvornik Brigade, he should at

18 least have known about those events.

19 Q. This is indeed one of the things you said when your status was

20 changed to that of a suspect. So what you're telling me is even if you

21 had not been made a suspect you would have provided this information, the

22 same information?

23 A. Of course.

24 Q. Let's just take three quick examples and maybe we can avoid having

25 you look at the material. I'll just quote from the statement where you

Page 13088

1 said at one point if the duty officer --

2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls?

3 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour, this is two pages. I would like the

4 witness to be able to look at the material.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, fair enough.

6 MR. NICHOLLS: I do not agree, without going into it in front of

7 the witness, with all of my friend's assertions he's just made.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's give him the opportunity to go through these

9 two pages first.

10 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. Can we have a paper copy

11 given to the witness? We do have a copy on e-court but it's not the right

12 version so we cannot use e-court at this point in time.

13 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you want to see it, Mr. Nicholls?


15 MR. BOURGON: I believe my colleague has a copy of it.

16 JUDGE AGIUS: Have a look at that document -- what's happening,

17 Mr. Bourgon?

18 MR. BOURGON: I gave the wrong paper, I'm sorry, I apologise.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: Oh, I see.

20 MR. BOURGON: Well, I will have to quote from it because it's not

21 available in the language of the accused. Sorry, of the witness.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you agree with that, Mr. Nicholls?

23 MR. NICHOLLS: No. I think it's in e-court in B/C/S. I think we

24 were looking at it yesterday in B/C/S in e-court and we -- I don't have a

25 hard copy in his language but --

Page 13089

1 JUDGE AGIUS: Registrar, Madam Registrar, if we locate it --

2 MR. BOURGON: I do have it on paper to give to the witness. I

3 apologise.

4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.

5 MR. NICHOLLS: I did as well.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: So, witness, you are going to be handed a two-page

7 document which I kindly ask you to go through, please. Can we have the

8 exact number of that document. Is it the right document, Madam Registrar?

9 You don't know?

10 MR. NICHOLLS: It's actually three pages, Your Honour, but I think

11 the area at issue is two pages. That's what I meant.

12 MR. BOURGON: I think it's better, Mr. President, if I can just

13 read the three little parts I want to read to the witness.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. We still have to --

15 JUDGE KWON: What's the date of the document?

16 MR. BOURGON: Date of the document is 11 November 2002.

17 JUDGE KWON: 1D202.


19 MR. BOURGON: Can I speak.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: Just to have it correct in the record it's 1D002;

21 correct?

22 THE REGISTRAR: 1D00202.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: So it's 1D202. Thank you.

24 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, may I approach my colleague for one

25 quick minute?

Page 13090

1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, definitely.

2 [Prosecution and Defence counsel confer]

3 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President, we can proceed.

4 Q. Mr. Acimovic, if I can refer you to the document you have in your

5 hands in your language, and right at the beginning, if we can go to the

6 first page, or sorry, the second page, where you ask -- the paragraph

7 begins by:

8 "Asked again if he thought Obrenovic was trying to avoid him,

9 Acimovic said that it was not logical that Obrenovic would not have known

10 what was happening as there were military phones, civilian telephones,

11 radios and if all else failed, communication could have been made by means

12 of a courier and that it should have been impossible for him not to know

13 what was happening."

14 Do you have this paragraph, Mr. Acimovic?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Okay. I refer you now to the next paragraph. That's when you

17 were made a suspect.

18 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry, but that's not accurate. There is a

19 paragraph in between.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon?

21 MR. BOURGON: It's the paragraph in between I want to read to him

22 now. I said next paragraph. I was getting to that.

23 Q. The paragraph, Mr. Acimovic, reads as follows:

24 "When asked about the identity of the soldiers at the Rocevic

25 school, Acimovic said that he did not know who they were and that they

Page 13091

1 definitely were not from Zvornik Brigade." And then he talks about "... a

2 rumour that Jasikovac and his MPs were at the school but that he had not

3 seen them himself."

4 And that's when you were made into a suspect. Now, after that,

5 after having been made a suspect at that time, you did not provide any

6 other information concerning what happened at the Rocevic school or in

7 terms of the identity of the soldiers at the Rocevic school, did you?

8 A. As you can see here, I have stated that I did not see Jasikovac in

9 the Rocevic school. I suppose that he arrived once I had already left.

10 When I said that I had heard that he had been there, that means that he

11 probably came after I had already left to rejoin my unit. This is what I

12 was referring to.

13 Q. You can do away with this document, Mr. Acimovic. My question is

14 simply that everything you said to the Prosecution this Sunday, you did

15 not say on that occasion, despite the fact that you were made a witness

16 [sic]; is that correct?

17 A. Would you please repeat the question.

18 MR. BOURGON: [Microphone not activated]

19 Q. We just saw, you and I, that you were made a suspect on that

20 occasion, you agree with that?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And you were made a suspect because Mr. McCloskey, my colleague,

23 thought that you were not being honest concerning the identity of the

24 people in Rocevic; is that correct?

25 A. Probably.

Page 13092

1 Q. And despite being made a suspect, you did not provide any of the

2 information at that time which you provided this Sunday?

3 A. As I've already told you, at that moment I failed to remember

4 quite a number of things. During each subsequent interview, my memory was

5 additionally jogged about the events that I could not remember previously.

6 I've also said that some details, especially names, I did not mention for

7 the reasons of safety.

8 Q. For safety or out of memory? Which of the two? The names. I

9 thought you just mentioned that you did not remember but then you just

10 added that you did not mention the names for reasons of safety. So at

11 that time, you remembered those names or you did not remember these names

12 at that time?

13 A. I can't give you a precise answer to that question.

14 Q. Okay. We'll try to finish with this topic simply by what I need

15 to cover with you is what you told the Prosecution for the first time this

16 Sunday when you met for your proofing session. Now, in this case, I think

17 my colleague will agree we do not have a document in the language of the

18 accused. All we have is an English copy, so I'll just put to you what you

19 mentioned to the Prosecution, and I'd just like you to confirm that you

20 did not mention these things or, sorry, that you mentioned these things

21 for the first time this Sunday.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls?

23 MR. NICHOLLS: No objection, sorry to interrupt, I just ask my

24 colleague to remember what should be in private and what should not.

25 MR. BOURGON: Will do, Mr. President.

Page 13093

1 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.


3 Q. So, Mr. Acimovic, this Sunday, or -- you mentioned for the first

4 time that the accused Popovic had instructed you to go outside and to find

5 a person in the crowd to take part in the execution; is that correct?

6 A. Not to find a person. Are you referring to a specific person, to

7 somebody concrete?

8 Q. I'm referring to the information which was given to me by the

9 Prosecution, which is a list of what you told them. And I will quote from

10 this document. I will use the exact words so that there is no confusion.

11 And I will read exactly what I've been told by the Prosecution. Then you

12 can confirm yes or no. We are not talking about names yet and whenever

13 there is a name we will go into private session to protect these names.

14 Is that okay? The first one is, "Popovic said that someone must be

15 willing to do it and instructed the witness" - you - "to go outside and

16 find persons in the crowd to take part in the execution." That was the

17 first time you mentioned this, this Sunday; is that correct?

18 A. That was within that context, yes.

19 Q. The second part is: "One of the soldiers who were guarding the

20 prisoners showed up and said he had found a person who volunteered to take

21 part in the execution."

22 You mentioned this for the first time this Sunday; is that

23 correct?

24 A. Nobody showed up. I said one of the soldiers who guarded the

25 prisoners arrived together with that person.

Page 13094

1 Q. But my question is you mentioned this for the first time this

2 Sunday.

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And a little later, you -- the information you provided is that a

5 soldier came in the office and told Popovic that one truck had arrived

6 from the brigade.

7 This is the first time you mentioned this information to the

8 Prosecution, on Sunday; is that correct?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Maybe we can move in private session just to be sure?

11 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly, Mr. Bourgon. Let's move into private

12 session, please.

13 [Private session]

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 13095











11 Pages 13095-13096 redacted. Private session















Page 13097

1 (redacted)

2 [Open session]

3 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.

4 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President.

5 Q. I'll say the question again, Mr. Acimovic. Do you remember that

6 during your proofing session with the Prosecution, you were asked the

7 following question: If you had any knowledge that a boy or young man from

8 Rocevic volunteered to take part in the killings of prisoners? Do you

9 remember this question was asked of you on Sunday?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Now, what I suggest to you, Mr. Acimovic, is that it is this

12 question, and because you were asked this question, that you decided to

13 provide the rest of the information; is that correct?

14 A. I remembered that answer in my conversation with the Prosecutor.

15 I've already said that.

16 Q. So all this information you did not remember until you had the

17 conversation with the Prosecution on Sunday, is that your statement or

18 your testimony today?

19 A. I've told you that I only remembered some information in my

20 conversation with the Prosecutor. They were prompted by his questions.

21 Q. Thank you.

22 MR. BOURGON: If we can go back, Mr. President, back in private

23 session, please?

24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's do that. Let's go back to open session

25 because now it's important -- private session. Thank you.

Page 13098

1 [Private session]

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 13099

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 [Open session]

18 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session. We will continue with your

19 cross-examination after the break, which will be of 25 minutes' duration.

20 ---. Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.

21 --- On resuming at 10.58 a.m.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon.

23 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.

24 Q. Mr. Acimovic, we'll move on to a different area now. I'd like to

25 come back on your testimony during --

Page 13100

1 A. Sorry, before we move on to the next subject may I ask for some

2 clarification? On the last two questions, the counsel was putting

3 pressure on me and I gave one hasty answer and I want to be given an

4 occasion to explain what exactly I was trying to say.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: By all means, go ahead, Mr. Acimovic.

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Concerning names --

7 JUDGE AGIUS: One, one moment. Should we be in open or in private

8 session?

9 MR. BOURGON: If he mentions.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you going to mention Mitar Lazarevic or are you

11 going to mention other names?

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Some more people.

13 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So let's go into private session.

14 [Private session]

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 13101











11 Page 13101 redacted. Private session















Page 13102

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 [Open session]

5 JUDGE AGIUS: And you may proceed with your questions. We are in

6 open session, Mr. Bourgon.

7 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.

8 Q. Mr. Acimovic, before I proceed with my next question, I just want

9 to make it clear that it is not my intention to mislead you in any way or

10 to play with words, and if at any point you want me to repeat a question,

11 I will repeat this question and give you the time to give your answer.

12 That being said --

13 JUDGE AGIUS: I could also add, Mr. Bourgon, because this is how I

14 have been educated in conducting trials, that if at any moment any counsel

15 here, be it from the Prosecution or from the Defence, is playing games, we

16 usually intervene to protect the witness. So unless we intervene, you can

17 take it that we do not consider the questions, either specifically or in

18 general, to be an abuse of the process. Okay, so you can rely on us that

19 we will intervene when it's the case of intervening. I can understand

20 that some witnesses feel somewhat irritated with some questions but that

21 doesn't necessarily mean what you say.

22 So, please, rely on us to intervene when it is necessary.

23 I don't think it was the case of intervening at any moment so far.

24 Yes, Mr. Bourgon.

25 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.

Page 13103

1 Q. Mr. Acimovic, my first question, which arises from what you just

2 mentioned, and the opportunity you had to address the Trial Chamber, is

3 that is it your testimony today that you have been withholding this

4 information from both the Prosecution and the Defence investigators that

5 you've met over the past number of years, and that you've had this

6 information from the beginning, or you just remember lately?

7 JUDGE AGIUS: I think he's answered the question. I think he's

8 answered the question. About names, he had the information all the time.

9 But he took a decision to withhold that information.

10 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.

11 Q. My next question, Mr. Acimovic, is you say that this was a

12 decision you made after giving your first statement which became known. I

13 don't understand why in the first statement you did not give this

14 information?

15 A. I was also aware, and let me say first that this was not the case

16 solely with my statements. Rumour had it that all the witnesses who give

17 statements are not sufficiently protected in that sense. Information

18 leaks through.

19 Q. My next question, Mr. Acimovic, is that you mentioned that this

20 withholding of names for safety reason, of course it applies to names.

21 And then you mentioned a little earlier on that there was and I quote from

22 page 39, line 8, you say that "It is true that I failed to remember some

23 small details that I consider them minor."

24 My question is the following: Is receiving a telegram asking you

25 to provide a platoon of soldiers to participate in execution, is this

Page 13104

1 something you consider to be a small detail and minor?

2 A. No. I think that is extremely important.

3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Acimovic. I move on to my next topic and I will

4 deal now with the events which took place in Rocevic. And my first

5 question is the following: In addition to the information you provided to

6 the Prosecution on Sunday, the new information, it was the first time in

7 your testimony two days ago that you mentioned being asked for a list of

8 trucks and your exact answer at page 12969, lines 10 to 12, was you said

9 there were six or seven trucks. All this was never mentioned to you even

10 in your Sunday interview with the Prosecution; is that correct?

11 A. That was the conversation involving those names that I've just

12 mentioned.

13 Q. And the fact, Mr. Acimovic, that on the same page at lines 12 to

14 14, you mentioned for the first time that Popovic had asked you to call

15 the drivers to come to the school, that was the first time that you

16 mentioned this also, two days ago; is that correct?

17 A. I think I was quite clear. If that question had been asked

18 before, I would have mentioned those people's names.

19 Q. And in your testimony on the same page, at lines 16 and 19, you

20 mentioned for the first time that you pretended to make those phone calls

21 but that you did not; is that correct?

22 A. It's possible that I made them but I can't remember what I did at

23 that moment. I was alone at the office because Popovic had left the room,

24 but I know that I did not contact with those soldiers. I cannot recall

25 the exact course of my actions.

Page 13105

1 Q. Well, Mr. Acimovic, I will recall you the exact words you used two

2 days ago and I will read those to you. Lines 16 to 19. Or 15 to 19.

3 And you said, "I picked up the phone. He left the office again,

4 and I dialed the numbers. Now, I can't remember the details why I wasn't

5 able to get in touch with those persons."

6 And then you said, "I know that I played some tricks in order not

7 to be able to get in touch with those drivers, not to be able to call

8 them, and in the end I did not call any of the drivers." It appears to

9 me, Mr. Acimovic, that what you were saying there is that you don't recall

10 why you were not able to reach the drivers. Is that the case?

11 A. Because I never had the intention to contact with them.

12 Q. So you're changing your testimony now and saying that if had you

13 wanted to call them you would have been able to do so? Is that your

14 testimony today?

15 A. Whether I made that call or not, I don't remember, but I

16 pretended, made believe, that those people were not there, so I answered

17 Popovic that there were no drivers around, but I cannot exactly remember

18 in which sequence events unfolded and what specifically I did at that

19 moment. I don't remember if I said the drivers were on home leave or were

20 temporarily absent. I can't tell you that. I don't remember.

21 Q. So it is your testimony, and you maintain the fact that maybe you

22 made the call as you just said but you did not reach anyone. Is that your

23 testimony today?

24 A. I did not get in touch with any of the drivers, because I never

25 meant to.

Page 13106

1 Q. Now, one quick question concerning something you said yesterday

2 for the first time. You said that you had -- and I will quote. It's on

3 pages 16, lines 1 to 5, yesterday, and you said the following: "I shouted

4 after him, 'I'm not going to wait. I'm going to leave before.'" You also

5 said, "However he went down the corridor. Whether he left the school or

6 whether he stayed on I'm not sure. A few moments later or maybe a few

7 minutes later, I decided to leave that place where I was."

8 Now, I put it to you, Mr. Acimovic, that it's the first time that

9 you indicate having the courage to say anything to Popovic during all the

10 time that you were in the Rocevic school; is that correct?

11 A. Could you repeat that question again?

12 Q. Yes. Did you ever mention before, Mr. Acimovic, shouting after

13 Popovic and saying, "I'm not going to wait. I'm going to leave before"?

14 Did you ever mention this before yesterday?

15 A. I told him specifically more than ten times that day that I was

16 not going to wait for that person who was supposed to be coming to

17 Rocevic, that I would go back to my unit instead without waiting for that

18 person. I don't know exactly how many times but I told Popovic more than

19 once, several times certainly, that I'm going back to my unit and that I'm

20 not going to wait for that person.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls?

22 MR. NICHOLLS: Could we have the witness take his headphones off?

23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls? In private session or in open

24 session?

25 MR. NICHOLLS: Open session.

Page 13107


2 MR. NICHOLLS: I would just refer my friend to the second

3 interview, page 31, in case he wants to make any corrections to his

4 assertion that the witness had never discussed leaving before and had

5 never said anything to Popovic about it. At lines 16-23.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon?

7 MR. BOURGON: I don't want to interrupt my colleague but that's a

8 matter for re-examination.

9 MR. NICHOLLS: Well, it's not a matter for re-examination, excuse

10 me, if the transcript is misstated.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: It's being suggested to you that you are putting

12 something which is -- putting to the witness a statement that is not

13 correct.

14 MR. BOURGON: The gist of what I'm saying Mr. President is that

15 the witness never said before that he shouted at Popovic, "I'm not going

16 to wait, I'm going to leave." He never said he shouted that.

17 MR. NICHOLLS: Well, that was not very clear as the point. What I

18 saw as the point was that he has never said that he was going to leave and

19 that's exactly what he says in the transcript. Just without the word

20 "shout".

21 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. All right. But now it's clear I think that

22 the point is that he shouted rather than just stated. Yes. And I suggest

23 that you rephrase your question and specify to the witness that what

24 you're referring to is the characteristic of shouting rather than just

25 stating or uttering something. So that we make sure that the witness is

Page 13108

1 fine-tuned together with the two of you.

2 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.

3 Q. Mr. Acimovic, just to make my question clear, I'll ask my question

4 again. What I was saying a little earlier is that yesterday you mentioned

5 for the first time that you shouted at Popovic, and that you had never

6 mentioned this before. Do you agree with me?

7 A. As far as I know, I mentioned several times that I had told him

8 that I was not going to wait for whoever was coming, that instead I was

9 going back to my unit. And as far as I know, I said that in my previous

10 statements.

11 Q. Let me move on, Mr. Acimovic. I was referring to the

12 word "shouted", but let's move on to something else. I refer now to the

13 transcript of 20th of June two days ago, page 58, lines 7 to 8, as well as

14 page 54, lines 14 to 16. And on those two places, you stated that Popovic

15 had been coming in and leaving the office.

16 Now, it appears to me, Mr. Acimovic, that you had quite a few

17 opportunities to leave the school in Rocevic and to extract yourself from

18 the situation but you chose to stay for a period of well over one hour; is

19 that correct?

20 A. He was coming and going. He left the room briefly in order to

21 come back again, and he never left very far. He was in the corridor, in

22 the hallway. It's not like he was gone for a long time.

23 MR. BOURGON: Can we go in private session, Mr. President, please.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, certainly, let's go into private session,

25 please.

Page 13109

1 [Private session]

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 13110











11 Pages 13110-13120 redacted. Private session















Page 13121

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 [Open session]


24 Q. Now, it is your testimony --

25 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session, just for the record.

Page 13122

1 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.

2 Q. It is your testimony today that Vujo Lazarevic and Mitar Lazarevic

3 were present in the battalion command during the events; is that correct?

4 A. Yes, yes.

5 Q. And it's also your testimony that you briefed them at all times

6 concerning what was going on? For example, when you came back to the

7 command the first time, after meeting with the president and the priest,

8 you briefed them of the situation; is that correct?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And with regards to what you spoke about concerning the telegram

11 and the response, that they would be aware of this because they were

12 there; is that correct?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And that they would also be aware of any and how you consulted

15 with the company commanders during that night; is that correct?

16 A. I suppose they should have known.

17 Q. And they would also know, because they were there, about the

18 second telegram that you received or you say that you say you receive and

19 the response, the second response, you sent to the brigade; is that

20 correct?

21 A. Could you say that again?

22 Q. Yes. Is it your testimony that the two individuals I'm talking

23 about would be aware of the second telegram that was received and the

24 second response which was sent?

25 A. I suppose they should know.

Page 13123

1 Q. And you would also have informed them and discussed with them the

2 alleged phone calls from Drago Nikolic?

3 A. Yes. I believe they were present when that discussion took place.

4 Q. And coming back after your alleged meeting at the Rocevic school,

5 you would also have briefed them as to what was going on there and the

6 preparations for the execution; is that correct?

7 A. I informed them partially. I cannot be sure now but I described

8 in an outline what was going on at Rocevic and then when I came back,

9 trying to get in touch with the brigade command, I explained what was

10 going on there.

11 Q. And when you -- at that point, you mention in your testimony that

12 you made some phone calls to the brigade. So they would also be aware of

13 those phone calls that you made to the brigade; is that correct?

14 A. I don't remember, but I believe they should know.

15 Q. Now --

16 A. Just a minute. I mentioned Vujo Lazarevic and Mitar Lazarevic

17 because I remember them. But it's possible that there were some more

18 members of the command or those who were at the command were there all the

19 time but I can't remember them now. The investigation will establish

20 that.

21 Q. Now, Mr. Acimovic, we have lots of information, both in this trial

22 and that was given to us by the Prosecution, that the prisoners would have

23 arrived in Rocevic on the 14th of June -- 14th of July, sorry. Would you

24 agree with this date? Because you told me -- you said that you did not

25 remember the date but would you agree that this is the date that you met

Page 13124

1 with the priest and the local president?

2 A. That's an approximate time. I cannot be quite certain that it was

3 the 14th. In one of my statements, I did not give the date because I said

4 I didn't remember, but it was in mid-July.

5 Q. Let me make that easier for you. If it is established that the

6 prisoners did arrive on the 14th, that's the same day that you saw them or

7 that you saw the school with the president and the priest; is that

8 correct?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. I'd like to move to a different topic, and that is concerning the

11 sending of telegrams. And I would like you to explain -- first of all,

12 confirm that there are no machines of any type at the battalion command

13 where you can receive a telegram in writing; is that correct?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. In fact, the telegram is an oral communication by telephone or by

16 radio; is that correct?

17 A. Certainly.

18 Q. And a telegram has an official character, either because it's an

19 order or it carries some information that is important to the battalion;

20 is that correct?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And usually the persons who have authority to issue orders will

23 send a telegram, or the duty officer on their behalf; is that correct?

24 A. Probably.

25 Q. Now, what is the procedure at the battalion level when a telegram

Page 13125

1 is received? Because we discussed communications earlier. When the call

2 is received by the radio operator, is he the one to write down the

3 telegram or will he connect the call to the battalion command so that the

4 duty officer can write it down? Which one is it?

5 A. I think he passes it on.

6 Q. So using the switchboard, he plugs it to the battalion command and

7 it is the duty officer who will write down the contents of the telegram;

8 is that correct?

9 A. I cannot answer that question with certainty because sometimes

10 it's possible for a soldier to note down the whole telegram and then

11 forward it to the battalion command, the person who is in the signals

12 unit.

13 Q. Now, I don't know. I wasn't there. So are you saying that it's

14 possible that the radio operator wrote down the telegram that night?

15 A. It's possible that he wrote it down or passed it on. I'm not

16 sure. I cannot answer that question.

17 Q. What was normal procedure for telegrams? The radio operator would

18 note it or the duty officer? Because they are not sitting in the same

19 room so I'd like to know which one of the two is noting down the telegram.

20 A. If it's forwarded, then the duty officer notes it down. If it's a

21 short telegram, the person notes it down on their own paper and then

22 passes it on to the duty officer at the battalion command. I suppose that

23 is the way they did it. I'm not sure.

24 Q. Now, when you receive a telegram that contains instructions or an

25 order, there is a format when a telegram is sent or communicated in an

Page 13126

1 oral conversation, and would you agree with me that it begins by who the

2 telegram is from, the sending unit, there is a "to" section which is the

3 addressee. There is a title which says order or report, there is the

4 contents of telegram and there is the signing authority or on whose behalf

5 the telegram is issued. Would you agree with that?

6 A. Probably. That's probably the way it is.

7 Q. And if you are sending a telegram from the battalion, the reverse

8 procedure applies, so who drafts the telegram?

9 A. The telegram is noted by the duty officer at the battalion

10 command. In fact, he transmits what I told him, if I am the person

11 concerned.

12 Q. And then, does he take the paper over to the radio operator or

13 does he simply get connected and he himself passes on the telegram over

14 the military secure line?

15 A. I think he personally transmits the telegram over the telephone.

16 Q. And is this what happened that night?

17 A. I don't remember. I think the duty officer passed the telegram on

18 to the signals unit, and the signals unit on to the brigade. I assume.

19 Q. Now, what about the coding of telegrams? How does that work? Can

20 you explain to us how does it work when you want to code a telegram?

21 A. I already said there was a table for encryption of telegrams, and

22 this table was at the battalion command.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: He gave this information yesterday.

24 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, I have lots of questions on

25 telegrams, lots of questions on coding so --

Page 13127

1 JUDGE AGIUS: Try not to ask him questions that he has already

2 answered. I mean, move to your question but avoid repetitions, please,

3 because you put a question that has already been put, he gives you an

4 answer that he has already given and we go on and on and on.

5 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, he has not explained how you code a

6 telegram and I would like to know how he uses that book that he's talking

7 about, what's in that book. I would like him to explain exactly what is

8 in the book.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: Then ask him that question.


11 Q. What is in that book, Mr. Acimovic?

12 A. It's a table that is in the possession of every unit and it is

13 used when the brigade commander, or somebody else who is in authority,

14 deems it necessary that the telegram should be encrypted, encoded. So if

15 it's an encrypted telegram, it means that it's strictly confidential, that

16 a minimal number of people is aware of the telegram. I suppose that's

17 what you want to hear.

18 Q. And how does the coded telegram look like? If I look at it do I

19 see words? Do I see numbers? Do I see sentences or do I see symbols?

20 A. I think a combination of all of those, numbers, words, depends on

21 the case.

22 Q. And who is able to decode a telegram? Let me be more precise.

23 Who will decode a telegram at the battalion command? Is it the radio

24 operator in the signals section or is it the duty officer in the battalion

25 command?

Page 13128

1 A. I told you last time I cannot tell you with any certainty who

2 decoded those telegrams. They were already decoded by the time I was

3 woken up.

4 Q. And there are, I put it to you, Mr. Acimovic, there is more than

5 one book that can be used for coding a telegram. There is actually a book

6 with sentences and a book with numbers. Do you agree with that?

7 A. That's a question you should ask of a qualified person, a

8 technical person who is qualified about communications. I told you I'm

9 not qualified to give you such information.

10 Q. Are you telling today, Mr. Acimovic, that you could not decode a

11 telegram in 1995?

12 A. No.

13 Q. Are you saying no, you cannot or no, you could? Could you in

14 1995?

15 A. Yes. I believe that every officer on duty should be able to

16 decode a telegram. Should.

17 Q. And how many books do they use, two books like I say, or one book

18 like you say?

19 A. I'm not sure.

20 Q. And do you ever recall coding yourself a telegram where every

21 letter was replaced by a number?

22 A. I've already said that I had no occasion to send or receive

23 encoded telegrams because the communications we had were such that we did

24 not mean -- need to send such telegrams, because we were static, we stayed

25 within our unit. In my opinion, encoded telegrams were used to

Page 13129

1 communicate with units somewhere out in the field where they did not have

2 such means of communication.

3 Q. So you would agree with me that the purpose of coding a telegram

4 is to avoid interception; is that correct?

5 A. Certainly.

6 Q. And if you have a secure line, which cannot be intercepted, there

7 is no need to use codes; is that correct?

8 A. That's a question I cannot answer because I am not the one who

9 decided how that telegram would be sent to my unit.

10 Q. And why would anyone in your opinion, as someone who was there at

11 the time, why would anyone use an unsecure line to communicate sensitive

12 information without using codes, if you have a secure line to do so?

13 A. I really cannot answer your question because it's not clear to me

14 at all. You're asking me as if I had been the one sending the telegram.

15 I cannot guess what was in that person's mind. But I would advise you to

16 consult with your client, the person you are representing, and he will

17 give you precise information about all this.

18 Q. Mr. Acimovic, that's not the issue right now that we are dealing

19 with. We are simply dealing with -- I'm asking you if you have a choice

20 between a secure line and a line that is unsecure, and you have sensitive

21 information to convey, you will use the secure line; is that correct?

22 A. I think it was emphasised that we should respond to the telegram

23 in the same way the telegram was sent to us. I assume.

24 Q. And that's another new information that comes out today for the

25 first time; is that so?

Page 13130

1 A. Which information?

2 Q. The fact that there was a mention on that telegram that you were

3 to reply by the same means. I've never heard that before, unless you can

4 correct me.

5 A. I've never heard that before either.

6 Q. I suggest to you, Mr. Acimovic, that coding was never used to

7 transmit telegrams between the brigade and the battalions using a secured

8 line. Would you agree with me?

9 A. I really don't know what you are suggesting. Could you repeat

10 that?

11 Q. Yes, I will repeat, Mr. Acimovic. I suggest to you that telegrams

12 sent between the brigade and the battalions were never coded because they

13 were transmitted using a secure line.

14 A. I think in my previous answer I told you the same thing that you

15 are telling me now. It was not the practice to send coded telegrams if we

16 were in our own area of defence and if we had the means of communication I

17 described. In all likelihood, but this is my assumption, in all

18 likelihood the person who sent this wanted to protect some information.

19 Q. Mr. Acimovic, I made reference earlier on to coding a message

20 where each letter is replaced by a number. Do you recall and can you

21 confirm that these numbers were changed at regular intervals?

22 A. Those tables must have been changed for security reasons from time

23 to time. I believe every 15 days.

24 Q. And that opens up the possibility for mistakes if the duty officer

25 does not use the right table; is that correct?

Page 13131

1 A. I really don't know. I'll try to answer your questions as briefly

2 as possible because I believe they have no relevance at all. From all I

3 can see, I think you're trying to keep me here in the courtroom as long as

4 possible asking me senseless questions, and I'm sorry for taking this

5 liberty to say this.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: I was thinking a few minutes ago that you were

7 showing signs of tiredness. I think after having been a Judge and a

8 lawyer for so long, I can have a good feeling of this. So I'm taking that

9 into consideration. Yesterday I told you, please, not to use language

10 that shouldn't be used. I mean, telling Mr. Bourgon, "You're asking me

11 senseless questions," is not something that we can tolerate. So you will

12 soon be out of here. We'll have a break soon. I think perhaps we can

13 anticipate the break and have it now, Mr. Bourgon.

14 MR. BOURGON: If that pleases the Court, Mr. President, yes.

15 JUDGE AGIUS: With your indulgence, but please do consider you too

16 what I have just been saying. I can see signs of tiredness in the

17 witness, and it doesn't benefit anyone. I know that you also have all

18 this thrown on you and that's no fun for you either and that it must be

19 tiring for you too but the thing is I just want to make sure that everyone

20 is feeling at ease as much as possible. So we'll have a 25-minute break.

21 And if the witness needs more, then we'll give him some more time. Please

22 try to not to get overexcited. Calm down. As I said yesterday, there

23 will be questions; you need to answer them. If you can answer them, you

24 answer them. If you can't, don't answer them.

25 How much longer do you have?

Page 13132

1 MR. BOURGON: I have four more areas to go into, Mr. President.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.

3 --- Recess taken at 12.22 p.m.

4 --- On resuming at 12.51 p.m.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: Are we ready to go? Mr. Acimovic?

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.


8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I'm concerned, I didn't

9 even need a break.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Bourgon?

11 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.

12 Q. Mr. Acimovic, let's get back into quickly in the telegram

13 business, and you trying to call the brigade that night. You mentioned

14 that that evening you contacted the brigade duty officer twice; is that

15 correct?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. That's once from Kozluk and once when you arrive at the battalion

18 command; is that correct?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And I take it that when you did call the brigade, which connection

21 did you ask for? I take it you asked for the duty officer connection.

22 A. Didn't I answer this question a thousand times?

23 Q. No. It was never put to you, Mr. Acimovic, which connection you

24 asked for when you picked up the phone to call the brigade.

25 A. I see that you like me a lot, you want to keep me in this

Page 13133

1 courtroom and look at me for another week.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's move. There is a difference between which

3 connections you spoke to and which connection you asked for. And the

4 question is which connection you asked for, if you asked for one.

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I spoke to the duty officer and

6 asked for the Chief of Staff or the commander, if the commander had shown

7 up in the meantime. Or anyone else with whom I could talk at that moment

8 about the events that we are talking about. I insisted on that. I asked

9 if by any chance any of the other officers were present so I could talk to

10 them.


12 Q. Maybe it's my question that was not clear enough. We established

13 today when I asked you questions that there is a switchboard at the

14 brigade command and when you called the switchboard, you asked which

15 office you want. I'd like you to confirm that you did ask for the office

16 of the duty officer; is that correct?

17 A. That's why we have signalsmen, so that all these formalities can

18 be done beforehand.

19 Q. And once you were with the office of the duty officer, you

20 mentioned during your testimony that you did not remember who was the duty

21 officer but that you might have known at the time; is that correct?

22 A. I probably knew at the time when I was talking to him.

23 Q. So you forgot since then?

24 A. Yes. But that's the least of our problems. I think it's very

25 easy to find out who was on duty that night or to establish the identity

Page 13134

1 of the duty officer's deputy or assistant.

2 MR. BOURGON: May we go into private session, Mr. President,

3 please.

4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, by all means, let's go into private session.

5 [Private session]

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 13135











11 Pages 13135-13136 redacted. Private session















Page 13137

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 [Open session]


6 Q. Do you want me to repeat the question again? The morning that you

7 say you went to Rocevic, the day you went in the school, you said that you

8 called the brigade to try and get ahold of the commander or the Chief of

9 Staff and you were told they were not available; is that correct?

10 A. Yes, yes.

11 Q. Now, we have information, Mr. Acimovic, that on that day, both the

12 commander and the Chief of Staff were present in the headquarters. On

13 this basis I suggest to you that because there's no message in the logbook

14 and because that those persons were in the headquarters, again you did not

15 call that day to speak to the duty officer.

16 A. That's what you say. What you're saying is not correct.

17 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Sorry for that. Yes, Mr. Nicholls?

18 MR. NICHOLLS: I just think it might be helpful if my friend would

19 say what he means by "the commander and the Chief of Staff were there that

20 day." Does he mean the whole day or what part of the day? I don't know

21 what he's putting to the witness exactly.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: M'hm. Yes. I think that's a pertinent remark.

23 JUDGE KWON: If I can make my the next addition to that but I

24 remember the witness mentioned he tried to get in touch with commander

25 possibly when he returned to the -- his battalion but he didn't mention

Page 13138

1 about the commander in the morning time but I would leave it to the

2 Defence of Mr. Pandurevic so I will not pursue this one further.

3 MR. BOURGON: Judge and Mr. President, I'm trying to cut down as

4 much as I can on my cross-examination, and I thought I could join those

5 two events in the morning, the phone call before he went to Rocevic and

6 the phone call when he came back from Rocevic from his battalion command

7 but those are two different instances. Now what I'm saying is that he did

8 call on those two occasions and I'm suggesting to him that he did not call

9 on the basis that either on one or two of these occasions those people

10 were present and they would have taken the call.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nicholls?

12 MR. NICHOLLS: There is no way that can be clear to the witness

13 from the way he's just put it unless he gives the timeframes he's talking

14 about.

15 JUDGE AGIUS: I think you have to give precise times. Divide it

16 into two parts.

17 MR. BOURGON: Will do, Mr. President.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: I think it will be easier. Judge Kwon? It's okay.

19 Go ahead.


21 Q. Mr. Acimovic, when you say that you called the brigade command in

22 the morning, I suggest to you that either the commander or the Chief of

23 Staff were present and that either of them would have taken your call and

24 that shows that you did not call in the morning. Is that correct?

25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls?

Page 13139

1 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm sorry, I still think this is kind an important.

2 It's a bit vague. When in the morning is he talking about and suggesting?

3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon?

4 MR. BOURGON: I think now we are really wasting time because my

5 colleague knows exactly that this is just before he left to go to Rocevic

6 and I think everybody knows that and that now we are really wasting time

7 and I think the witness knows that too.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: I think it's clear. Let's get the witness to answer

9 the question.


11 Q. Before you left for Rocevic in the morning, you said you made a

12 phone call to the brigade. I'm saying there was no phone call on the

13 basis that there was one of the two individuals you were looking for to

14 take your call. Is that correct?

15 A. What you're saying is not true. I called the brigade and asked

16 for these persons and I was told that they were not there. I don't know

17 how many times I've said it.

18 Q. And when you returned from Rocevic, from your battalion command,

19 you called again and you requested to speak to either the commander or the

20 Chief of Staff and again I'm saying that this call was never placed,

21 because one of these two individuals, as a minimum, was there and they

22 would have taken your call. And I'm suggesting to you that you did not

23 call on that occasion. Is that correct or incorrect?

24 A. Incorrect.

25 Q. Now, you did say both in your testimony and in your interviews

Page 13140

1 that when you called the second time, that is after you returned from

2 Rocevic, you would agree with me that this was around 12.00 on that second

3 day; is that correct?

4 A. I said it was between 11.30 and 12.15. It was sometime in that

5 interval.

6 Q. And you did say, did you not, Mr. Acimovic, that you spoke to the

7 duty officer who was -- who by that time had changed; is that correct?

8 A. The duty officer had probably changed by that time, but I cannot

9 say with any certainty. I don't know.

10 Q. Now, I'm putting it to you, Mr. Acimovic, because there is no

11 trace in the operative duty officer's notebook of any phone call made by

12 you, that you did not make that second call that day; is that correct?

13 A. Incorrect.

14 Q. And I further suggest to you that when you called, you did not

15 speak to Drago Nikolic when you came back from Rocevic; is that correct?

16 A. Which day you mean?

17 Q. When you came back from Rocevic the second day, we are talking

18 about the same phone call that you say you made, between 11.30 and 12.15,

19 that you did not speak to Drago Nikolic on that occasion; is that correct?

20 A. I didn't even say that I had spoken to Drago Nikolic that day. I

21 spoke to him the previous night.

22 Q. And that's what I'm saying, Mr. Acimovic.

23 A. And in the morning hours.

24 Q. And Mr. Acimovic, I'm telling you that Drago Nikolic was the duty

25 officer during the time frame that you say you called, that you did not

Page 13141

1 speak to him, and that in fact you never called the brigade and never made

2 that second call. Is that correct?

3 A. Not correct.

4 Q. I'll move on to -- just to go back quickly to the consultation

5 which took place with the company commanders. That is what you say when

6 you received that first telegram. First, let me confirm that you -- it is

7 your testimony that the first telegram was sent to the company commanders;

8 is that correct?

9 A. I think that telegram was passed on to company commanders as well

10 or maybe it was the second telegram, but I believe that company commanders

11 found out about the orders only after the second telegram, because it

12 seems to me, and I've said so last time, that the telegram said, among

13 other things, "Notify company commanders."

14 Q. And the second telegram, pursuant to your testimony, required you

15 to get in touch personally with the company commanders and that's what you

16 did; is that correct?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Now, this consultation took place by phone, and your main purpose

19 was to ensure that if somebody would ask them if you had consulted with

20 them, they were in a position to say yes; is that correct?

21 A. Not only that, but to consult with them about the contents of the

22 telegram, to explain to them what it was all about. And having done that,

23 we jointly came to the conclusion that it was somebody's lunatic idea and

24 that we have no men to give for that purpose, and I never looked for any.

25 Q. And in the sense of those -- that consultation with the company

Page 13142

1 commanders -- strike that, Mr. President. I'll move on to another topic.

2 Yes. Just one question in relation to this.

3 That communication was also made using the military phone or the

4 secure line; is that correct?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. I move on to a different topic, and --

7 MR. BOURGON: Are we in private session? I think we need to go

8 into private session.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session but we'll go into private

10 session now.

11 [Private session]

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 13143

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 [Open session]

21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls?

22 MR. NICHOLLS: And I'll just ask, I take it that my friend is not

23 willing and doesn't wish to share any of these reports with us which he's

24 received. And that we rely then just on his interpretation of them and

25 that he's getting them as accurately as he has Dragan Jokic's testimony

Page 13144

1 and other references he's made to the transcript and to prior testimony.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon?

3 MR. BOURGON: I can go one by one and I can get -- provide further

4 details but then I'm trying to cut down.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: I suggest you deal.

6 MR. BOURGON: This is information I'll bring forward in the

7 Defence case, or it will be led before in the Prosecution's case.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: I suggest you deal with it directly with

9 Mr. Nicholls after the sitting.

10 Just --


12 Q. Mr. Acimovic, I will repeat my question.

13 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think you need to repeat your question

14 because we will have to go back to private session.

15 MR. BOURGON: Without the names, Mr. President.

16 Q. On the basis, Mr. Acimovic, of all the information I told you we

17 have collected --

18 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.

19 [Trial Chamber confers]

20 JUDGE AGIUS: Witness, you had -- this is what we have in our

21 transcript anyway. To the question put to you by Mr. Bourgon you said, "I

22 can't be burdened by your claims and I tell you once again that this is

23 simply not correct." Was that your full answer or before we interrupted

24 you or at the time we interrupted or did you mean to give more

25 information?

Page 13145

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't think this is the truth.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Your next question, Mr. Bourgon?

3 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.

4 Q. Mr. Acimovic, I -- on the basis of the information or the names of

5 the people we collected information from, I suggest to you that there was

6 never an order or a request sent to your battalion to put together a

7 platoon of soldiers to participate in the -- in any executions. Do you

8 agree?

9 A. I don't. What I'm saying is that you are not telling the truth.

10 That's the least I can tell you. And the same applies to your previous

11 questions.

12 Q. Now, just so that we make things clear. It's not me that's not

13 telling the truth. I'm referring to information that I have obtained.

14 I'm just an advocate representing his clients in this case and I put it to

15 you that there were never a coded message that made its way to your

16 battalion concerning the execution of prisoners in Rocevic. Is that

17 correct?

18 A. This is your claim. I'm absolutely not interested in your claims

19 or your assumptions. So much from me.

20 Q. Mr. Acimovic, all I need from you is to either deny or say that

21 you agree with my suggestion. That's all I'm asking of you and that

22 information will make its way into this trial. And then the Judges will

23 decide. There was nobody trained in your communications section, in your

24 battalion, to code or decode telegrams; is that correct?

25 A. Can you repeat the question, please?

Page 13146

1 Q. Yes. In your battalion, the 2nd Battalion, there was, amongst

2 your communication staff, your signalman or your radio operator - with

3 translation it can sometimes be difficult - there was nobody who was

4 trained who could code and decode messages and there was no book of codes

5 in the communications section. Would you agree with that?

6 A. Every signalsman has been trained to decipher any message that

7 arrives in the unit. They were trained to decipher every order, every

8 task, every message. That was their duty.

9 Q. Mr. Acimovic, I suggest to you that the information that you

10 obtained concerning persons being detained in Rocevic school was provided

11 to you by someone who travelled to your battalion and provided you with

12 this information and it is not something that you found out yourself on

13 the 14th of July with the priest and the president, as you say. Can you

14 confirm this?

15 A. This is not correct.

16 Q. Mr. Acimovic, I suggest to you that there are three other

17 battalions who received information and instructions concerning prisoners

18 being held in schools, the 4th Battalion, the 1st Battalion, and the

19 6th Battalion. In every case, there was never any request to provide

20 anyone to participate in executions, and I put it to you that if you

21 receive any information from the brigade, it did not include any request

22 to send people to participate in executions.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: That's a compound question. Let's divide it into

24 two parts, please.

25 MR. BOURGON: Will do, Mr. President.

Page 13147

1 JUDGE AGIUS: And why are you standing up, Mr. Nicholls?

2 MR. NICHOLLS: Because I don't think that what has been put to the

3 witness is accurate and if we want to go into it, he'll have to take his

4 headphones off.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, exactly. Mr. Acimovic, can I ask to you remove

6 your headphones again, please?

7 The question was premised on Mr. Bourgon's stating that he has

8 information.

9 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes. I believe it would be accurate to say that

10 the 4th Battalion, Lazar Ristic's men, did receive requests and

11 instructions to participate in executions. So it's not fair to say that

12 no other battalion received any of this type of information or

13 instructions concerning prisoners held in schools.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Yes, Mr. Bourgon?

15 MR. BOURGON: I'm doing my best to finish as quickly as possible

16 so my colleague can do his re-exam and we can send the witness home. I

17 was talking about battalion and I'm talking, of course, battalion

18 commands, battalion commands and my colleague understood that question.

19 I'm simply suggesting that the 4th, the 1st and the 6th Battalion, if

20 those command they never received any instructions to provide people to

21 participate in execution, and I'm suggesting to the witness that any

22 information his battalion received was also not related to any executions.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.

24 MR. NICHOLLS: I don't think that's clear from the question. It's

25 not just that he's talking about just the command. It's broader than that

Page 13148

1 which is why I made my objection.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: I think you need to clear that up with the witness

3 first and then we can proceed. But it wasn't clear in my mind either. So

4 I think it needs to be cleared up with the witness first and foremost.

5 Yes.

6 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.

7 Q. Mr. Acimovic, I'm suggesting to you, and I have to take my

8 question over again, the 4th Battalion command, the 1st Battalion command,

9 and the 6th Battalion command, the three of them received information in

10 relation to prisoners being held in schools but that none of them received

11 information asking them to take part in executions. On this basis --

12 MR. BOURGON: My colleague all he wants to do is make sure the

13 witness stays for Monday, Mr. President.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's try to avoid such comments, Mr. Bourgon. I

15 mean, we would like the witness to go home too. Yes, Mr. Nicholls?

16 MR. NICHOLLS: That's --

17 JUDGE AGIUS: Again do you want him to remove the --

18 MR. NICHOLLS: I think so, Your Honour, please.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: Again, Mr. Acimovic, if you can remove your

20 headphones again, please.

21 MR. NICHOLLS: I don't wish to interrupt or slow things down but

22 our position is that the 4th Battalion commander Lazar Ristic received

23 information from his men that they had been requested to participate in

24 executions. So the way he's phrased the question is that none of these

25 commands received information of these requests and that's just not

Page 13149

1 accurate.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: There seems to be a disagreement on you on whether

3 the command had received so I think that can become a matter for

4 re-examination -- for re-examination.

5 [Trial Chamber confers]

6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I see you both standing still. Yes

7 Mr. Nicholls?

8 MR. NICHOLLS: I don't intend to re-examine on it and I wouldn't

9 be surprised if the witness wasn't able to answer about what

10 information -- I just want the questions to be accurate.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: That's what we were talking about, too.

12 Mr. Bourgon, it's being put to you that the proposition to the witness

13 that the 4th command -- Battalion command never received such instructions

14 is not a correct one. What your position on that? Before we put it to

15 the witness.

16 MR. BOURGON: My position is that the 4th Battalion did not

17 receive a request to send anyone to participate in executions and there is

18 a disagreement.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Then put the question, let him answer, and

20 we'll see where it takes us.


22 Q. Mr. Acimovic, I'm doing my best to finish with you today so that

23 we can send you back home. Your battalion, I'm putting, I'm suggesting to

24 you, and that's what I'm suggesting, that your battalion did not receive

25 any instructions -- strike that.

Page 13150

1 Do you know, Mr. Acimovic, that there is a 1st Battalion, a

2 6th Battalion and a 4th Battalion in the Zvornik Brigade?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. I'm telling you -- I'm suggesting to you that these battalions did

5 not receive any request to send soldiers to participate in the execution

6 of any prisoners. And I'm suggesting to you that the same goes for your

7 battalion. Is that correct?

8 A. I don't want to talk about any other units. I don't want to enter

9 into that debate. Please ask me questions about my units only. As for

10 the other infantry battalions, I have no information that I could share

11 with you.

12 MR. BOURGON: Can we go into private session, Mr. President,

13 please.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's do that.

15 [Private session]

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 13151

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 [Open session]

16 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session, Mr. Bourgon.

17 MR. BOURGON: I have no more questions for you, Mr. Acimovic.

18 Thank you very much.

19 Thank you, Mr. President.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Haynes? Let's -- Mr. Ostojic?

21 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President, no, no questions.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Haynes?

23 MR. HAYNES: I have specific instructions that I'm not to be the

24 cause of this witness remaining here over the weekend but there is just --

25 there are just one or two questions I would like to ask.

Page 13152

1 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.

2 Cross-examination by Mr. Haynes:

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls?

7 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry to interrupt I'm not sure -- I think my

8 friend might have done that in private session and he may have reasons for

9 that.

10 MR. HAYNES: I'm really sorry.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: And I think Mr. Nicholls is right. We did have it

12 in private session so let's redact and move to private session.

13 [Private session]

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 [Open session]


24 Q. The presence of these prisoners in the school at Rocevic was a

25 complete surprise to you, wasn't it?

Page 13153

1 A. Yes, yes.

2 Q. And when you first saw these prisoners, they were already in the

3 school at Rocevic, in the gym of the school at Rocevic?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And you had nothing to do with opening up the gym of the school

6 for those prisoners to be put inside, did you?

7 A. I didn't have anything whatsoever to do with the bringing of these

8 prisoners of war in the gym, and I had no contact with them at all, none

9 whatsoever.

10 Q. Thank you. I simply wanted to clarify that because in answer to

11 Mr. Bourgon's question you admitted the possibility that you might have

12 got the keys to the offices of the school. That presumably, if it was

13 possible, was it sometime later, after the prisoners were already in

14 there?

15 A. Are you asking me? I apologise. I'm afraid I didn't understand

16 the question.

17 Q. That's all right. I'm not going to ask it again. I have no

18 further questions.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Zivanovic, you had indicated you had a few

20 questions. Do you think you can finish in seven minutes?


22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, but Mr. Nicholls?

23 MR. NICHOLLS: I don't want to waste time. I object to the

24 questions being asked again. I think the only basis is the log I used.

25 That was nothing new. That had been disclosed a long time ago. It wasn't

Page 13154

1 on our list but I think he had ample time to prepare to ask questions on

2 that vehicle log which was used during my direct examination.

3 [Trial Chamber confers]

4 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's hear what your question is and we'll decide

5 whether to allow to you go ahead or not.

6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you with your leave,

7 Your Honours, yesterday we received information that the document would be

8 used by the Prosecution in their examination-in-chief. This was done

9 after your suggestion during the examination-in-chief of this witness when

10 he could not remember the family name of a person of whom he was talking,

11 and it was only then that we received the document from the Prosecution.

12 Further cross-examination by Mr. Zivanovic:

13 Q. Mr. Acimovic, I'll try and be very brief. I'm putting again in

14 the context that I laid for you yesterday, I'm contesting the fact that my

15 client was ever in contact with the people of whom you spoke, that he was

16 ever in contact with you. Could you please look at this document, this is

17 225, and I believe that we should move into private session. This is

18 Prosecution Exhibit number 295.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session.

20 [Private session]

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 13155











11 Pages 13155-13157 redacted. Private session















Page 13158

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 [Open session]

5 JUDGE AGIUS: So I can confirm that the Prosecution doesn't have

6 any re-examination. Yes, we'll do the tendering next time.

7 MR. NICHOLLS: No, Your Honour, sorry I said no re-examination. I

8 did want to just ask the witness he said look here, he wanted to point at

9 something. I think he might have gotten cut off. If he wanted to mention

10 something else about the document, I'd like him to have the chance to do

11 that.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: Is there anything else you wish to add before we

13 send you home, Mr. Acimovic?

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Nothing in particular. I just

15 wanted to ask whether the car was the Mercedes or the TAM 2000. I believe

16 that the vehicle in question was the TAM 2000.

17 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll look into that anyway.

18 Mr. Acimovic, I wish to thank you for having come over on behalf

19 of the Trial Chamber and I also wish you a safe journey back home.

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

21 [The witness withdrew]

22 JUDGE AGIUS: We stand adjourned until Monday -- do you wish to

23 ask something?

24 MR. BOURGON: Yes, Mr. President, very quickly. Our deadline to

25 submit our papers on the intercepts is this Monday.

Page 13159


2 MR. BOURGON: And I must say, Mr. President, that I am running

3 late and I did not have time to finish and I'm not sure I'll be able to

4 finish by Monday. And I would like to have an extension. I don't know if

5 that applies to my other colleagues or not but I would like to have an

6 extension, Mr. President, a short extension, please.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you have a guillotine in Quebec?

8 MR. NICHOLLS: No objection.

9 MR. JOSSE: My only comment, which I had mentioned to

10 Mr. Bourgon: Is there any point any of us submitting anything until this

11 joinder matter is decided upon? If General Tolimir joins this case, I

12 imagine he might have something to say about the matter. Perhaps

13 Your Honours will ponder that over the weekend.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: I suppose --

15 MR. JOSSE: I ask rhetorically, of course.

16 JUDGE AGIUS: We have to know first what Mr. Tolimir thinks all

17 about this. Let's adjourn, and we'll deal with this later on Monday. But

18 for the time being take it that there will be an extension in any case.

19 Thank you.

20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.51 p.m.,

21 to be reconvened on Monday, the 25th day of June

22 2007, at 9.00 a.m.